- The Bara Imambara Lucknow is one of the most popular, beautiful and famous monuments of Uttar Pradesh.
- Also referred to as Asfi Imambara, after the name of the Nawab of Lucknow who got it constructed, it’s a crucial place of worship for the Muslims who come here every year to celebrate the festival of Muharram. It is the world’s largest structure that’s unsupported by beams, Bara Imambara Lucknow is taken into account as a marvel of engineering and a fine specimen of Mughal architecture.
|Also Known as :||Asfi Mosque, Asfi Imambara, Asafai Imambara|
|Build By:||Asaf-ud-Daula, Nawab of Awadh in 1784|
|Designed By :||Kifayat-ullah (relative of the architect of the Taj Mahal)|
|Complex Includes:||Asfi mosque, the Bhul-bhulaiya (the labyrinth), and Bowli|
History of Bara Imambara Lucknow
- This magnetizing monument was built by the 4th Nawab of Awadh – Nawab Asaf-Ud-Daula and its construction began in 1784. It took over 14 years to finish and was designed by the architect Hafiz Kifayat Ullah and Shahjahanabadi, prominent architects of that point. The cost of constructing the complete Bara Imambara is estimated to be between half a million rupees to a million rupees. Even after the development was completed, the Nawab won’t to spend four to 5 thousand rupees annually on its decoration.
- The story behind this massive center is predicated on a really noble cause. During the 18th century, a devastating famine struck the Awadh Estate, making the Nawab consider an idea to supply food for his starving subjects. He decided to form them construct magnificent buildings which might, in turn, provide them with employment, and hence food. This is how the thought of Food-for-Work was implemented. This basic and yet efficient concept remains prevalent in India.
Bara Imambara (Main Complex):
• It is called Asfi Mosque.
• It is a central hall and a main complex.
• It is considered as the largest vaulted chamber in the world. There is no woodwork in the entire structure,except for the galleries in the interior. This place in present is used by Shia Muslims for Azadari(Offering Prayers).
• The central hall of the Bara Imambara is almost 50 meters in length and 16-meter wide. The ceiling of this columnless hall is more than 15-meter high and is a large vaulted central chamber containing the tomb of Asaf-ud-Daula.
The Bhul Bhulaiya (The labyrinth)
• Its a incredible maze, known as Bhul Bhulaiya locally.
• It’s said that there are 1024 ways to urge inside the maze but only 2 to return out.
• It is an enticing network of narrow passageways winding its way inside the upper floor of the monument’s structure, eventually leading to the rooftop. The bird’s eye view of the town of Nawab from the roof is spectacular enough to require your breath away.
- It is a five-storied baoli (step well), which belongs to the pre-Nawabi era.
- Called the Shahi-Hammam (royal bath), this baoli is connected with the river Gomti.
- Only the first two stories are above water, the rest being perennially under water.
Amazing & Interesting Facts Of Bara Imambara Lucknow
- It is said that there are 1024 ways to reach the terrace but only two to come back first gate or the last gate. It is an accidental architecture.
- It is believed that the construction of this grand building was started in 1785 when a devastating famine had hit Awadh, and the nawab’s objective was to provide employment for people in the region for almost a decade while the famine lasted.
- It is said that ordinary people used to work in the day building up the edifice, while noblemen and other elite worked at night to break down anything that was raised that day.
- No wood or metal has been used in the construction of the mosque.
- The central hall of the Imambara is said to be the largest arched hall in the world.